GROWING up in California, beauty queen Christelle Abello remembers listening to her father tell stories about Ginebra great Robert Jaworski, as well as the spirit of the storied team.
"Back in the day, he would tell me stories all the time about Jaworski and PBA games," said Abello, who is in Baguio at the moment as she vies for the Miss Universe Philippines tilt. "He would tell me that even if the team was falling behind, people would still cheer them on."
She added: "We somewhat knew that they were going to come back strong and win the game because of their never-say-die attitude."
And for the first time in their long history, fans aren't able to cheer for their team live. Here's the message that new Ginebra calendar girl Christelle Abello said to diehard fans of the Gin Kings:
"If I were to give a message to all Ginebra fans you can support in any way that you can. It doesn't have to be physically. It can be emotionally, spiritually. If you can't show that support physically, you can always send a little prayer as well."
While fans can't be physically present inside the PBA bubble, she hopes that they can still continue to root for their favorite team.
Christelle Abello, of course, has just been announced as the 2021 Calendar Girl. In six homebody layouts in the calendar, Aklan's representative to the Miss Universe PH pageant embodies the current calendar's theme: "Ganado Sa Bahay."
One layout even has her holding a video game controller: the perfect shot for a girl who also grew up playing Nintendo 64 and is still a big fan of Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch.
The Ginebra calendar girl is a tradition that began with model Monina Tan back in 1988. When Abello found out that she would be getting the gig, she wanted to rise up to the challenge.
Abello takes over from last year's calendar girl Sanya Lopez. It's been quite a ride this 2020 — but hopefully her reign is a sign of better, more hopeful things to come.
"So 2020 has definitely been a difficult year for most, if not all of us. But I think that us, being Filipinos, we really resonate with being resilient. If we continue to stay positive, we will have a better year," she said.
Abello added: "Dark times will not last forever."